Even though I go through a journal every 3-4 weeks, I recently started to celebrate the completion of each one. After all, they are my life's work! (Ok, in truth, I haven't ever been paid to write in my journal, but that is my secret dream...) Nonetheless, I still consider them my life's work because they contain my life, in all its many forms. As I read through my old journals, I am coming to see my life as a work-of-art. I don't mean that in a conceited sense, mind you. I think that all lives are a work of art. We all go through so much in a lifetime, and I am just one of those people who feels the need to write about it all.
The majority of my journals were written in the past 10 years. I am currently reading my journals from 10 years ago, and I am at 118. So in the past 10 years I wrote over 160 journals! I needed to, for my own sanity and healing. During that time, I lost so many people I loved and grief was my constant companion. And I lost loved ones not just to death, but also to dysfunction or lack of the glue needed to hold us together. Often when someone dies, you realize that person was the glue that held the family together. This was the case with my foster family, and the depression that came from the loss of that support was deep. I needed the pages to help me find my own wisdom. (since I should have been on antidepressants and therapy that I could not afford)
Grief shows you who your real friends are. Many “friends” abandonned me when I did not bounce back from grief in a timeframe they deemed appropriate. “Good riddance then,” I said. The journals became my friends and companions, silently listening or speaking wisdom when I remembered to ask for guidance. They never judged me or told me to change who I was. (A constant theme of my childhood that left me not knowing who I really was for most of my life)
Recently I realized: It's Me.
I am the one writing, listening, inquiring, accepting myself. The journals are a format, a place to meet myself outside myself, an empty vessel filled with potential.
Finally, I am my own friend...
In a world obsessed with social media and the need to compete, the idea of being a friend to oneself probably seems bizarre. But one of the great things that came with turning 50 is: I no longer give a hoot about what others think of me!
Now THAT'S something to celebrate!